On Oct. 7, 1913, Ford engineers -- inspired by slaughterhouses in Chicago and Cincinnati -- rigged up a rope tow to pull Model T chassis across the floor of a factory in Highland Park, Mich., to speed assembly of the car. The innovation is credited with greatly reducing the expense and time of manufacturing a car, which paved the way for mass output and marketing. It was early 1914 before the plant was completely converted but it started a revolution that continues today.
The first moving assembly line -- engineered by Ford at a plant in Highland Park, Mich. -- simplified production of the Ford Model T's 3,000 parts by breaking it into 84 distinct steps performed by groups of workers as a rope pulled the vehicle chassis down the line. Photo credit: FORD